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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Does anyone know how many of the new MHL 3.0 features (ability to transmit 4k video @ 30 fps, 7.1 surround sound, increased charging capacity, etc.) will actually work with existing MHL-enabled home theater equipment?

 

I noticed that most 2013 home theater receivers only have a few inputs that actually accept 4K video sources and lossless (Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD MA) audio sources.  The rest of the HDMI inputs only support resolutions up to 1080p and the lossy 5.1/7.1 audio codecs.  And, because MHL 2.0 only supports 1080p and the lossy formats, the MHL-enabled HDMI port is typically one of the ones that does not support 4K video or the lossless audio codecs.  So, with MHL 3.0 now supporting these things, the MHL-enabled port on these receivers has effectively been obsoleted for those who want to actually be able to use the new MHL 3.0 features.  As I understand it, the backwards compatible nature of MHL will still allow you to take advantage of the MHL 2.0 features when connecting your MHL 3.0 device.  But, it seems awfully short-sighted of the manufacturers/MHL to not enable features via. MHL at the same time as those features are enabled by HDMI.  Even if those features aren't actually used by mobile devices until a year later, the home theater equipment could have had the compatibility built in ahead of time so that you aren't forced to upgrade each piece of equipment twice (once to enable a feature on your AV receiver/TV and again to enable that same feature to work with your mobile devices).

 

Anyone know if the existing MHL adapter cables (the ones that were made to allow you to connect your MHL 1.0/2.0 device to a nonMHL HDMI port) will pass a 4K video and/or Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD MA audio signal, so that I can plug the other end of the HDMI cable into a standard HDMI 1.4/2.0 port that accepts them?  I realize that I'll have to plug the adapter into a power outlet to be able to charge the phone and the control/data transfer features may not work (even the old MHL 2.0 ones) since I'm not plugging into an MHL port.  But, at least I would be able to get the 4K video and lossless audio from the phone to the receiver without straining the wifi.

 

P.S. Who wants to bet me that the 2014 model year TV's and AV receivers will be limited to receiving 4K video @ 24/25/30 fps thru their MHL port even if they have the ability to handle 4K60 through their HDMI 2.0 ports?  And, in 2015 when they release MHL 4.0, enabling 4K60 to pass from a mobile device thru an MHL cable, you'll still need to upgrade to a 2015 year model TV to do it.

 

"One connector to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them".
 

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Don't know what the MHL HDMI adapter cables or ports are. The current HDMI 1.4 hardware spec already supports true 4k (4096 x 2160, 30fps). All receivers, at least in the last couple of years since 1.4 was adopted, are fully 1.4 compliant for all of their HDMI inputs. Any certified high speed HDMI cable can fully support HDMI 1.4/2.0 hardware spec.
 

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Ahh, I see now. MHL, Mobile High Definition Link. So the idea is to connect your mobile device, like a phone or a tablet, directly to your tv or receiver? Do a lot of people want to or do that? I guess I'm missing the point.
 

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Hopefully A/V receivers will not adopt DisplayPort, MHL, or any of the other stupid version of HDTV connectors which manufacturers try to shove down out throats and focus strongly on HDMI and perhaps add HDBT and a single wireless standard. Samsung, as one of the inventors of MHL has strong reason and market share reasons to push MHL down our throats, but HDMI is the standard which A/V is using at this time, and perhaps if someone wants 4K out of their phone, they should buy a phone which supports 4K resolutions over standard HDMI interfaces which have been allowing for HD audio and 4K content for a couple of years now.


MHL does not implement proper HDMI and the MHL to HDMI adapters I've been reading about have been MHLs hokey way of trying to get a half-baked product to work with a worldwide industry standard. Instead of STARTING with that standard, they are just harming their customers, and the question should not be about when A/V receivers and TVs will fully support MHL 3.0, but when phone manufacturers will (and why they haven't) fully embraced the HDMI standard already in place on almost every A/V receiver and television in the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot  /t/1522579/mhl-3-0-compatibility-with-mhl-enabled-hdmi-1-4-port#post_24483889


Don't know what the MHL HDMI adapter cables or ports are. The current HDMI 1.4 hardware spec already supports true 4k (4096 x 2160, 30fps). All receivers, at least in the last couple of years since 1.4 was adopted, are fully 1.4 compliant for all of their HDMI inputs. Any certified high speed HDMI cable can fully support HDMI 1.4/2.0 hardware spec.

While you are correct on the last part about cables, it is not correct to say that all receivers released in the last couple of years support 4K up scaling and passthru on all of their HDMI inputs. On their outputs, yes, assuming you have selected an input and source that supports it. But not on their inputs. Most mid-tier receivers ($500-600) only support this feature on 4 of their 6 or 8 HDMI inputs. If you read the fine print in the manuals, you'll see this. Of coarse, you won't find it on a spec sheet. Lower end receivers from last year may not support 4K at all. This is where HDMI specs are ambiguous. Not all of the features are mandatory on all devices. Some are optional and it is at the discretion of the manufacturers on how they are implemented. This is plainly visible if you look at TV's. Only the top of the line models support 4K. Most are still 1080p max. I think that they stopped making 720p sets a few years ago, but am not certain of that.


Also, your specs on the 4K resolution supported on current 4K TV's and AV receivers are slightly off. Most only support Quad HD "4K" (3840x2160) and do so up to a max of 30 fps. As far as I know, only Sony supports DCI 4K (4096x2160). Currently, Sony's AV receivers are still limited to HDMI 1.4 capabilities, i.e. 30 fps for Quad HD and 24 fps for DCI 4K. Meanwhile, their TV's are supposedly upgradable to HDMI 2.0 capabilities (up to 60 fps for both resolutions).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated  /t/1522579/mhl-3-0-compatibility-with-mhl-enabled-hdmi-1-4-port#post_24484621


Hopefully A/V receivers will not adopt DisplayPort, MHL, or any of the other stupid version of HDTV connectors which manufacturers try to shove down out throats and focus strongly on HDMI and perhaps add HDBT and a single wireless standard. Samsung, as one of the inventors of MHL has strong reason and market share reasons to push MHL down our throats, but HDMI is the standard which A/V is using at this time, and perhaps if someone wants 4K out of their phone, they should buy a phone which supports 4K resolutions over standard HDMI interfaces which have been allowing for HD audio and 4K content for a couple of years now.


MHL does not implement proper HDMI and the MHL to HDMI adapters I've been reading about have been MHLs hokey way of trying to get a half-baked product to work with a worldwide industry standard. Instead of STARTING with that standard, they are just harming their customers, and the question should not be about when A/V receivers and TVs will fully support MHL 3.0, but when phone manufacturers will (and why they haven't) fully embraced the HDMI standard already in place on almost every A/V receiver and television in the world.

I fully agree with you. My current android phone (a 4 year old HTC Evo 4G) has a microUSB and a microHDMI port on the bottom of it. Unfortunately, newer androids seem to be doing away with the microHDMI port in favor of using MHL. Then there's Apple products which use thunderbolt and lightning ports with adaptor cables.


Whether we like it or not, video shot with mobile devices is likely to be the source for the majority of native 4K content available for the next year. The next highest percentage will come from folks using 4K camcorders. Commercially available studio quality 4K is still in its infancy and it won't really take off until they settle on and start releasing physical media on a large scale. This being the case, I think MHL is going to become more prevalent on home theater equipment for the next year or so. Too many consumers are clamoring for power thru HDMI, but that isn't currently possible, so the industry is pushing MHL. And, because the ARC channel on HDMI is only capable of 5.1 while phones are now capable of bit streaming 7.1 lossless with MHL 3.0, consumers will want MHL compatibility on AV receivers as well as TV's.


We can only hope that the industry gets its act together and truly combines the capabilities of MHL and HDMI (without the 1 year difference in the release of new features), or, that MHL ceases to exist and they go back to having two ports on phones.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB  /t/1522579/mhl-3-0-compatibility-with-mhl-enabled-hdmi-1-4-port/0_20#post_24484977




Also, your specs on the 4K resolution supported on current 4K TV's and AV receivers are slightly off. Most only support Quad HD "4K" (3840x2160) and do so up to a max of 30 fps. As far as I know, only Sony supports DCI 4K (4096x2160). Currently, Sony's AV receivers are still limited to HDMI 1.4 capabilities, i.e. 30 fps for Quad HD and 24 fps for DCI 4K. Meanwhile, their TV's are supposedly upgradable to HDMI 2.0 capabilities (up to 60 fps for both resolutions).

The specs I quoted are the HDMI 1.4 specs as listed by HDMI.org, the licensing body for HDMI. TV mfrs are allowed to call 3840 x 2160 "4K" when, to me, that's actually UHD. That seems deceptive especially for most of the general population who isn't as anal about the details as we are here. Unless the receiver mfrs purposely hobble some of their HDMI 1.4 inputs, I would think that they are capable of handling the full 1.4 spec. Some newer Sony tv's that are able to be upgraded to HDMI 2.0 I've heard only upgrade the data speed part of 2.0, not the audio/resolution spec, but I'm not sure how accurate that is now that they are starting to ship.


I agree with AV_Integrated that it's a shame that Samsung et al started yet another HD connection schema. It's a lame attempt to grab more customers to their products but what they are actually doing is confusing the buying public. And when receiver mfrs "hide" which HDMI inputs are MHL capable, that shows how confident they are in the technology co-existing with the HDMI. HDMI certainly isn't without it's issues but that's what we have and what most people are comfortable with. If MHL capability can be rolled into HDMI, that's fine, but to have it as a separate, and not too clear alternative, is wrong. Who the hell wants to buy a Samsung phone that is fully 4k capable (who cares on a phone anyway?) and have it marketed as "you can enjoy full 4k from your phone to your 4k capable tv" only to find that some of their HDMI 1/4/2.0 inputs are able to connect with MHL but not all. Sure, the receiver mfrs could start indicating which HDMI inputs are capable of MHL but I just don't see it happening. Too many choices and the public shies away and sticks with what they are comfortable with. Either combine the two in HDMI 3.0 or just write off MHL.
 
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